Investing Ahead of Earnings: Blackberry, GameStop and Lululemon

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Today, we preview eight companies reporting earnings after the closing bell today through before the opening bell on Friday. We crunched the numbers to help you decide if and when to invest. See the Crunching the Numbers' table following these profiles.

BlackBerry (BBRY) ($9.36, up 25.8% YTD): Analysts expect the smartphone provider to report a loss of 56 cents a share before the opening bell on Friday. The stock traded at an intraday multiyear low at $5.44 on Dec. 10, and then rebounded to its 200-day simple moving average at $10.19 on Jan. 21. Since then, the stock has been trading back and forth around the 200-day SMA as the average has declined to $9.10. The trading range has been between a low at $8.92 and a high at $10.90.

This is an important earnings report because BlackBerry will have a negative weekly chart given a close this week below its five-week modified moving average at $9.27. Weekly and monthly value levels are $8.99 and $6.88 with the 200-day SMA at $9.10.

Finish Line (FINL) ($27.30, down 3% YTD): Analysts expect the sneaker retailer to report earnings of 85 cents a share before the opening bell on Friday. The stock set an all-time intraday high at $28.86 on Jan. 6, and traded as low as $22.99 on Feb. 2. It rebounded to $28.69 on March 21. The weekly chart is positive with its five-week MMA at $26.89. A quarterly value level is $26.59 with a weekly pivot at $27.78 and monthly and semiannual risky levels at $28.67 and $29.64.

Fred's (FRED) ($19.38, up 4.9% YTD): Analysts expect the discount retailer to report earnings of 15 cents a share before the opening bell on Thursday. The stock traded at its 2014 low at $16.55 on Feb. 10, and hit a multiyear intraday high at $21.05 on March 3.

The weekly chart is positive with its five-week MMA at $19.09. A quarterly value level is $16.36 with a weekly pivot at $19.31 and monthly and semiannual risky levels at $19.59 and $19.77.

GameStop (GME) ($37.79, down 23.3% YTD): Analysts expect the video-game retailer to report earnings of $1.92 a share before the opening bell on Thursday. The stock has been below its 200-day SMA at $45.57 since Jan. 14, and it set its 2014 low at $33.10 on Feb. 3. It traded as high as $39.85 on March 17.

The weekly chart shifts to positive given a weekly close above its five-week MMA at $38.44. My semiannual value level is $33.36 with a weekly pivot at $37.30 and a semiannual risky level at $39.50.

Lululemon (LULU) ($47.99, down 18.7% YTD): Analysts expect the yoga-inspired athletic apparel retailer to report earnings of 72 cents a share before the opening bell on Thursday. The stock has been below its 200-day SMA since Dec. 11, and traded as low as $44.32 on Dec. 5. It has been trading around its 50-day SMA at $48.62 since Feb. 26.

The stock gapped below its 200-week SMA the week of Jan. 17 with that average now at $55.25. The weekly chart is neutral with its five-week MMA at $49.66 and a flat stochastic reading. A weekly risky level is $49.60 and its monthly risky level is $58.43.

Paychex (PAYX) ($42.47, down 6.7% YTD): Analysts expect the provider of payroll and human-resource services to report earnings of 42 cents a share after the closing bell on Wednesday. The stock set a multiyear intraday high at $45.95 on Jan. 7, and traded as low as $39.86 on Feb. 4, holding the 200-day SMA that day.

The 200-day SMA is at $41.18, and since Feb. 4, the high has been $43.37 on March 21. The weekly chart shifts to positive given a close this week above its five-week MMA at $42.36. Weekly and semiannual value levels are $41.82 and $39.89 with quarterly and monthly risky levels at $43.24 and $46.96.

Red Hat (RHT) ($57.31, up 2.3% YTD): Analysts expect the software company to report earnings of 26 cents a share after the closing bell on Thursday. The stock traded to a 52-week intraday high at $61.45 on March 6 and is now below its 50-day SMA at $58.09 with Monday's low at $56.39.

The weekly chart shifts to negative given a close this week below its five-week MMA at $57.51. A monthly value level is $56.42 with weekly and semiannual risky levels at $59.37 and $64 90.

Winnebago (WGO) ($26.66, down 3.2% YTD): Analysts expect the maker of motor homes to report earnings of 31 cents a share before the opening bell on Thursday. The stock set its 2014 low at $23.18 on Feb. 3, and traded at its 2014 high at $28.90 on March 13. Since Feb. 5, the shares have been above their 200-day SMA now at $25.88.

The weekly chart shifts to positive given a weekly close above its five-week MMA at $26.89. Semiannual value levels are $21.49 and $20.11 with weekly and quarterly risky levels at $28.55 and $30.90.

Crunching the Numbers with Richard Suttmeier

There are five columns with moving average titles: Five-Week Modified Moving Average, 21-Day Simple Moving Average, 50-Day Simple Moving Average, 200-Day Simple Moving Average and the 200-Week Simple Moving Average.

The column labeled 12x3x3 Weekly Slow Stochastics shows the pattern on each weekly chart with readings from Oversold, Rising, Overbought, Declining or Flat.

Interpretations: (stocks below a moving average listed in Red are below that moving average)

Five-Week Modified Moving Average (MMA) is one of two indicators that define whether or not a weekly chart profile is positive, neutral or negative. The other is the status of the 12x3x3 weekly slow stochastic.

A stock with a positive technical rating is above its five-week MMA with rising or overbought stochastics.

A stock with a negative technical rating is below its five-week MMA with declining or oversold stochastics.

A stock with a neutral technical rating has a profile that is not positive or negative.

The 200-Week Simple Moving Average (SMA) is considered a long-term technical support or resistance and as a "reversion to the mean" over a rolling three to five year horizon. (even Apple declined to its 200-week SMA in June 2013)

The 21-Day Simple Moving Average is a short-term technical support or resistance used by many hedge fund traders to adjust positions. A stock above its 21-day SMA will likely move higher over a rolling three to five day horizon and vice versa.

The 50-Day Simple Moving Average is also a technical support or resistance used by many strategists and commentators in financial TV.

The 200-Day Simple Moving Average is another technical support or resistance and I consider this level as a shorter-term "reversion to the mean" over a rolling six to 12 month horizon. (even Apple tested or crossed its 200-day SMA in nine of the last 10 years)

Value Levels, Pivots and Risky Levels are calculated based upon the last nine weekly closes (W), nine monthly closes (M), nine quarterly closes (Q), nine semiannual closes (S) and nine annual closes (A). I have one column for pivots, which is a magnet for the period shown. The columns to the left of the pivots are first and second value levels. The columns to the right of the pivots are first and second risky levels.

Investors who wish to buy a stock should use a good-until-canceled GTC limit order to buy weakness to a value level. Investors who want to sell a stock should use a GTC limit order to sell strength to a risky level.

At the time of publication the author held no positions in any of the stocks mentioned.

Follow @Suttmeier

This article represents the opinion of a contributor and not necessarily that of TheStreet or its editorial staff

Richard Suttmeier is the chief market strategist at ValuEngine.com. He has been a professional in the U.S. Capital Markets since 1972, transferring his engineering skills to the trading and investment world.

Suttmeier has an engineering degree from Georgia Tech and a Master of Science degree from Brooklyn Poly. He began his career in the financial services industry in 1972 trading U.S. Treasury securities in the primary dealer community. He became the first long bond trader for Bache in 1978, and formed the Government Bond Department at LF Rothschild in 1981, helping establish that firm as a primary dealer in 1986. This experience gives him the insights to be an expert on monetary policy, which he features in his newsletters, and market commentary.

Suttmeier's industry licenses include, Series 7 and Registered Principal (Series 24). He has been the Chief Market Strategist for ValuEngine.com since 2008 and often appears on financial TV.

Click here for details on Suttmeier's "Buy and Trade" investment strategy.

Richard Suttmeier can be reached at RSuttmeier@Gmail.com

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